Located at 400 W. Retta Esplanade in historic Punta Gorda, Gilchrist Park contains 11 acres stretched along the waterfront between the downtown and Fishermen’s Village.
Gilchrist Park provides sweeping views of the Charlotte Harbor. Park amenities include a large playground; basketball, tennis and pickleball courts; fishing pier, gazebo, picnic pavilions, and lost of open green space..
Smaller events including weddings, craft shows and impromptu concerts known as Guitar Army every Tuesday and Thursday evening are held in the park as well.
The park is named for Governor Albert Gilchrist, a real estate broker, surveyor, and political leader and one of the founding fathers of the City. Governor Gilchrist was well loved in Punta Gorda with a lifetime of public service first on City Council, then in the State Legislature culminating as Governor of Florida from 1909 to 1913. Always a community benefactor, Governor Gilchirst in his will established a $5,000 endowment to the City for the provision of ice cream to all the children of Punta Gorda on Halloween. This tradition continues annually with the assistance of many community partners.
Also located within the park is the Bayfront Center operated by the YMCA of Charlotte County. This facility hosts YMCA programs including a sailing center. This waterfront facility is also available for event rental through the YMCA.
Other City Parks & Facilities
- Recreational Areas
The City leases the Bayfront Center to the YMCA. The facility offers a community room for small group events. The YMCA offers afterschool programs and fitness club activities. In addition the Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center a 501c3 non-profit operates out of this location. A new hand launch boat ramp was completed in 2012.
For information on rental of the facility, visit Charlotte County YMCA - Bayfront Center.